Unique boots with Turkish roots featured at Bearden boutique

6:11 PM, Dec 21, 2012   |    comments
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An East Tennessee store features boots from another country, Turkey.

"Suzani means needle in Turkish. And all of our boots are needle pointed, a lot like quilts in the south," April Montgomery explained.

Suzani Styles in Bearden features hand made needle pointed boots.

Owner April Montgomery always loved shoes and first saw the style of boot in California.

She often wears her favorite pair.

"These boots are called a painted Suzani," she said. "They started as the normal black tapestry just like most of our shoes but then they take them and literally put them in dye to change the color."

She opened a store in Nashville then added a boutique in Bearden.

The boots are the vision of designers like a Turkish woman who goes by "Z."

It all starts with the unique fabric.

"First the tapestries are bought all over, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Istanbul and they're taken to Istanbul and assembled there," Montgomery said.

The tapestries are laid out in big sheets then draped and stitched to the boots. No pair is alike because they're made from unique handmade tapestries.

"One tapestry will make about four boots. We try to vary that so we'll use them for boots, we'll use them for sneakers, different kinds of boots, cowboy to wedges. So even if you have a tapestry that has a similar or the same tapestry in our store it's not going to look the same," she said.

Dolly Parton bought a custom made booth with a seven inch stiletto heel.

"We've also made wedding boots for several celebrities. Joan Rivers has a pair. So a lot of fun. Of course country music stars like them. We have a couple rock and rollers," she said.

Celebrities and regular folks can find the footwear in the two stores and on the web. She keeps about 1,100 pairs in inventory.

On the low end, sneakers start at around $99. Simple styled boots start at $189 while more elaborate designs cost more.

She said, "$489 is about our highest price point and that's for a limited edition boot that really there's probably there's only four in the whole world."

Turkey is a world away but you can find a small piece of it right here in Bearden.

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